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Employee Development

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Ascend Training Solutions specializes in Curriculum Development and Instructional Design; or the design and development of new employee training programs. We also offer a selection of previously developed and tested programs, which are easily customized to the needs of each organization.

Our popular Supervisory Skills Training series includes up to 11 half-day modules designed to develop front line supervisors into High Performance Leaders.

Train the trainer programs are developed to meet the specific needs of the organization and trainers to be trained.

Please use the navigation links to the right to learn more about our employee development solutions.

Below are listed some of our existing employee development courseware. For front line supervisor training, please see Supervisory Skills Training.

High Performance Leadership

From Control to Empowerment

Part One
Bringing out the best in you so you can bring out the best in others

Leadership is a rich and meaningful word. It stirs up a sense of idealism, excitement, hope and courage. It is a word that inspires us to be our best, a word that we associate with those who have made the greatest difference in our lives. In short, leadership is a significant part of the answer to whatever challenges our organizations may face.

What You Will Gain

“High Performance Leadership: From Control to Empowerment” will teach you how to be an outstanding leader within your organization. The principles and practices you learn in this program are based upon observation and research from the foremost authorities in the field of leadership.

From the program you will:
  • Understand the five practices of the world’s greatest leaders.
  • Create a clear and compelling vision of the future.
  • Find an appropriate balance between the five major leadership roles (technician, manager, trailblazer, architect and coach).
  • Become a leader who empowers others and brings out their best.
  • Learn how to organize and manage your priorities so that big things control little things.
  • Recognize leadership qualities in yourself.
Structure and Format

“High Performance Leadership” consists of eight modules (each two to three hours in length) that are scheduled and delivered at least one week apart. The modules include numerous individual and group exercises that make the training come alive and ensure that participants translate the principles into a personal plan of action. This program can be taught to a large group or even a single leader with the trainer acting as a personal coach. The number of participants, structure and format can all be tailored to fit the needs of your organization.

Part Two
1. Principles of Leadership
  • Learn the importance of leadership in achieving longterm organizational success.
  • Discover the five myths of leadership.
  • Understand the difference between leadership and management.
  • Learn the difference between controlling and empowering leadership styles.
2. Practices of Empowering Leaders
  • Empowering leaders have a driving passion to realize their vision.
  • Empowering leaders build and sustain trust with their followers.
  • Empowering leaders unleash the commitment and motivation of their followers.
  • Empowering leaders are social and organizational architects.
  • Empowering leaders act from positive beliefs about people and situations.
3. The Five Leadership Roles
  • Examine the three core elements of team effectiveness.
  • Learn the five roles of leadership.
  • Discover the appropriate balance among the five roles.
  • Understand how to lead “from the balcony”.
  • Learn how to use a set of diagnostic questions to lead “from the balcony”.
4. Leadership Practices
  • Understand your strengths and weaknesses as a leader.
  • Assess yourself in the five leadership roles.
  • Know how you are viewed by others in your organization.
  • Develop personal improvement plans.
5. Personal Productivity
  • Assess how you currently use your time.
  • Discover the barriers that keep you from managing your time more effectively.
  • Learn the difference between the important and the urgent and how to schedule the time for the important.
  • Learn to set professional goals to guide your use of time.
  • Learn a systematic approach to managing daily events.
6. Fundamentals of High Performance Teams
  • Learn the definition of a high-performance team and how it differs from traditional work groups.
  • Discover the three elements of high-performance teams.
  • Learn the four types of teams.
  • Learn the stages of team development.
7. Performance Expectations
  • Learn to confront behavior that fails to meet your expectations.
  • Understand the importance of discipline and conformity in building high performance.
  • Develop a set of non-negotiables for those whom you lead.
  • Practice the skill of harnessing harmful behavior.
  • Apply the skill to back-home situations.
8. Empowering Others for Success
  • Learn the difference between commitment and compliance motivation.
  • Understand how leadership changes to create commitment.
  • Learn the four principles of empowerment.
  • Learn the elements of empowerment.
  • Discover a matrix for identifying what people need in order to be empowered.
  • Develop a dialogue to transfer power to others.
  • Create a model of situational leadership.

Assessing Your Organization for High Performance

All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they achieve

Part One

By attending this program, you will learn a model that reduces the vast complexity of your organization to the seven key elements that account for its success. These seven elements enable you to diagnose the current functioning of your organization and to know where and how to make improvements.

During the program you will:
  • Learn a model for understanding your organization.
  • Do a comprehensive assessment of the current performance of your organization.
  • Benchmark your organization in relation to others within your community/ industry.
  • Develop a shared understanding of your greatest strengths and weaknesses.
  • Target and prioritize the top opportunities for change.
  • Develop detailed improvement plans.
During each module you will:
  • Learn the meaning of one of the seven elements of an organization’s performance.
  • Divide into small groups to assess your organization’s performance on this element.
  • Get back together and share your findings with the larger group.
  • Summarize and identify key learning and opportunities.

The program can be delivered in a modularized format (2 1/2-to-3 hour sessions spaced over time) or in a 2-to-2 1/2-day format. It usually involves not only the leaders of the organization but also other key people representing a cross-section of all employees.

Part Two
1. The Transformation Model
  • Define organization assessment and understand its purpose.
  • Learn basic principles of open systems.
  • Learn the purpose and uses of the Transformation Model.
  • Use the Transformation Model to analyze an organization case study.
2. Current Results
  • Review and discuss the current financial/cost structure of the organization.
  • Summarize your organization’s key result area and performance.
  • Assess the adequacy of current resources.
3. Business Environment
  • Review current market conditions and key competitors.
  • Identify key customer, key stakeholders, and their expectations.
  • Evaluate current market conditions affecting your organization.
  • Review the strengths and weaknesses of key competitors.
4. Current Strategy
  • Define business strategy and core ideology and learn their importance.
  • Analyze the elements of business strategy within your organization.
  • Analyze the elements of core ideology within your organization.
  • Report findings and draw conclusions about your current business strategy and the core ideology.
5. Core Process
  • Learn the elements of simple core process mapping.
  • Map the macro core process of your organization.
  • Identify process variances and key variances related to your organization’s core process.
  • Determine the efficiency of your core process and identify the biggest process issues to be addressed.
  • Describe and analyze the computer information delivery system supporting your core process.
6. Structure
  • Analyze the nature and rationale of your current hierarchical structure.
  • Examine management, worker, team, and support group roles.
  • Identify how you are currently grouped and why (functions, departments, team, etc.)
  • Identify how organizational units are currently linked and why.
  • Develop and “organigraph” (pictograph) of how your organization really works.
  • Summarize key learnings and critical structure issues to address.
7. Systems
  • Learn about coordination and development systems.
  • Verify how each system is currently working.
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses of coordination systems.
  • Identity strengths and weaknesses of development systems.
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses, and key culture learnings and challenges.
8. Culture
  • Survey the basic work culture and general morale in your organization.
  • Assess current job satisfaction
  • Identify common management and worker attitudes, practices, and beliefs.
  • Identify organizational norms around collaboration and performance.
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses, and key culture learnings and challenges.
9. Opportunity and Plans
  • Summarize key issues from Modules 2 through 8.
  • Identify organization strengths weaknesses, and alignment issues.
  • Identify biggest opportunities/issues to address.
  • Develop a list of change initiatives
  • Create a sequenced initiatives time line.
  • Learn how to set up and manage project teams.

Trust and its Value in Your Organization

Creating Win – Win Relationships

Part One
Dramatically increase your effectiveness with others as you learn the principles and skills of trust and interpersonal dialogue.

When trust is absent, relationships are characterized by an adversarial attitude: me vs. you; us vs. them. Rather than goodwill, there are deep and hidden animosities. Respect is lost and our performance is compromised as our energies go into manipulation and protection rather than working together towards a shared vision.

We believe that the most successful organizations of the 21st century will be those that know how to create a climate of trust and goodwill among their employees.

What You Will Gain

In this program, you will learn how to interact with others in ways that build trust and win-win outcomes.

Specifically, you will:
  • Learn the core elements of trust.
  • Identify how we engage in collusive, weakening patterns of relating to others.
  • Experience a change of heart and know how to break out of collusive patterns.
  • Come to view others in a way that promotes unity, trust, and goodwill.
  • Understand the three phases of interpersonal dialogue and practice the dialogue skills.
  • Commit to interacting with others in strengthening rather than weakening ways.
  • Develop the ability to confront poor performance and behavior problems.
Structure and Format

The Trust Factor consists of eight modules (two to three hours each) that are scheduled and delivered at least one week apart. The training comes alive as you participate in experiential exercises and role-playing that help you internalize the principles and skills that are taught.

Part Two
The Trust Imperative
  • Appreciate the need for a collaboration in our interdependent society.
  • Learn the definition and key elements of trust.
  • Evaluate the consequences of high and low trust within an organization.
  • Understand the importance of being trustworthy in building trust and rate your trustworthiness.
  • Receive feedback from others about your personal trustworthiness.
2. Collusion
  • Understand the dynamic of collusion.
  • Be able to identify and diagram collusive relationships.
  • Write a personal story of collusion.
  • Evaluate the consequences of collusion.
3. A Change of Heart
  • Learn the four reasons we engage in collusion.
  • Identify payoffs and prices from our collusions.
  • Understand the folly of trying to get others to change.
  • Learn the two ways of being in our relationships with others.
  • Experience a change of heart towards others.
  • Learn and practice the skill of creating safe and trusting conditions.
4. Face-to-Face Communication
  • Explore the role of communication in interpersonal relationships.
  • Learn about alternative ways of communicating/influencing others.
  • Identify your “native tongue” or preferred style of communicating.
  • Understand the consequences of an absence of dialogue.
5. Interpersonal Dialogue: Core Principles
  • Understand the definition and meaning of interpersonal dialogue.
  • Learn a model and the core principles of dialogue
  • Understand why mutuality is the “bedrock” of dialogue.
  • Learn how to create a pool of shared understanding.
  • Know how to solve problems in a win-win way.
  • Do a self-assessment of your skills in interpersonal dialogue.
  • Receive feedback from others regarding your dialogue skills.
6. Interpersonal Dialogue: The Steps
  • Learn the steps of dialogue.
  • Practice the skills of mutuality.
  • Learn and practice various inquiry skills.
  • Understand the meaning and guidelines of advocacy.
  • Know how to identify and share your left-hand column.
  • Practice using the skills of dialogue.
  • Identify actions to improve your ability to engage in dialogue.
7. Harnessing Harmful Behavior
  • Learn to confront behavior that fails to meet your expectations.
  • Understand the importance of discipline and conformity in building trust.
  • Develop a set of non-negotiables for those whom you lead.
  • Practice the skill of harnessing harmful behavior.
  • Apply the skill to back-home situations.
8. Strengthening Our Relationships
  • Understand the characteristics and consequences of co-dependency.
  • Know the difference between responsibility for and responsibility to another.
  • Learn a credo for your relationships.
  • Understand what you do that weakens others when you intend to help.
  • Learn the valuing process as a skill to strengthen others.
  • Evaluate what you do to strengthen others in your relationships.
  • Understand how contracting can be used to strengthen yourself and others.

Emotional Intelligence

A Pathway to Personal Success

Part One
Achieve personal mastery as you transcend challenges and learn secrets of soaring new heights.

Mastery:

“ascendancy or victory in struggle or competition.”

[Webster’s New World Dictionary]

Masters are the victors of life, those who step up to the challenges and opportunities of life with the courage, determination, and wisdom to win the private and public victories.

Mastery does not happen by accident. It is a process that occurs as we interact effectively with the events and circumstances of our lives. Each moment of our lives provides an opportunity to practice mastery by expanding our visions, awakening the faculties of our minds and our hearts, and assuming full responsibility for living, growing, and contributing.

What You Can Expect

People who attend this program will learn a set of principles that will change the way they view their lives as well as their performance on the job. They will grow in selfunderstanding, confidence, personal effectiveness, and their ability to handle the challenges/opportunities of the workplace. Such personal transformation forms the foundation for organizational transformation.

Principles of Self-Mastery
  • The Integrity Model:

A paradigm of personal effectiveness that defines success
as what happens within you rather than what happens to you

  • Embrace Reality:

Discover power and fulfillment as you stop wasting time
resenting, complaining, wishing, and blaming and instead
keep your focus on what you can control

  • Exercise Responsibility:

See how success and quality of life come from choices made
and learn to act rather than

Diversity

The uniqueness of the individual is what brings strength to the team.

Valuing the Individual

Individual differences in the workplace must be sought after, nurtured, and respected. High performance organizations understand this, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. How do you coach workers not only to respect their colleagues and traits each individual possesses, but also to seek out those co-workers as team members? How do you teach everyone to get along?

In this course, you will discover the foundation for understanding diversity and developing skills for working in environments and groups composed of diverse individuals.

Specifically you will learn the value of:
  • Diversity in high performance organizations.
  • Appreciating diversity.
  • Using the advantages of diversity and inclusion for growth and expansion in a global marketplace.
  • Communication guidelines.
Managing Diversity
  • Problem: A manager faces a team in which everyone is different. What does she do?
  • Solution A: She demands that everyone think and act alike.
  • Solution B: She observes the differences and puts them to work for the team.

The manager is likely to choose either solution before participating in the Managing Diversity course. Afterwards, Solution B will be her choice. This module will align participants with High Performance thinking and managing. In this session, the leader will cover a wide range of topics including issues of race, gender, ethnicity, age,

disability, sexual orientation, and physical ability in the workplace.

Change Management

The future is guaranteed to bring more change, not less!

Managing Change

We believe that the most successful organizations help their employees understand the importance of developing effective change management skills for personal and professional success.

Change is a constant, challenging part of the workplace environment. Taking time to improve your skills is a worthwhile investment in your self-development. Organizations that value change management as a strategic tool recognize the value of learning about flourishing during times of transition.

This module will discuss the following:
  • Learning about change.
  • The change process.
  • Developing change resilience.
  • Enhancing your change management skills.
Leading Others Through Change

Organizations in today’s chaotic business environment recognize that the ability to effectively manage change is not only a strategic advantage, but also an essential to doing business successfully in the 21st century.

Leaders need to be aware of their attitudes toward, and abilities for, leading others through organizational change. It takes both effort and practice to develop effective change leadership skills, but the payoff will be worth it.

In this module organizational leaders will learn:
  • Leadership & change.
  • Helping others manage change.
  • Becoming a change leader.
  • Enhancing leading change skills.

High Payoff Hiring

The ability to hire the right people is essential to the bottom line.

Have you ever found the perfect candidate during an interview who turned out to be the wrong person for the job, costing you money, time, resources, customers, and possibly even growth within the organization? Imagine if you could ensure the person sitting across from you in an interview would actually be one of your top performing employees. The ability to hire the right people is extremely important to the wealth and profitability of you and your organization.

High Payoff Hiring is intended for anyone involved in the hiring process. As a hiring manager you need to have a hiring process that covers all the essential steps, from creating a solid job description to making an offer. Through interaction and skill practice you will assess your current hiring needs and learn how to fill them with top performers.

Part One
What You Will Do:
  • Evaluate your current hiring skills and the costs associated with your past hiring decisions.
  • Identify your selection criteria for current positions you have available.
  • Learn how to effectively create or update an existing job description.
  • Gain a clear understanding of the interview process from screening resumes through the four parts of the interview.
  • Analyze the best questions to determine how the candidate will really perform within your organization.
  • Identify the most common hiring mistakes and how to avoid them.
  • Learn how to effectively evaluate the candidates and make an offer.
  • Set up systems for measuring your performance, setting goals and tracking progress.

Having an effective interview process will save you time, money, frustration, and resources and will help provide you with the tools you need to grow your business. The company is only as strong as the weakest employee. Invest your time and energy into finding the right people and you will achieve the results you want through your greatest investment, your people.

Part Two
1. Evaluating the Process
  • Assess your current hiring skills.
  • Analyze costs involved in making hiring decisions.
  • Determine your selection criteria.
2. Preparing for Effective Hiring
  • Create specifications through a job description.
  • Update or create a job description.
  • Determine the most effective ways to recruit qualified candidates.
3. The Interview Process
  • Prepare for the process.
  • Identify positive and negative characteristics throughout the screening process.
  • Execute a phone interview.
  • Prepare and set up successful interviews.
  • Discuss four parts of the interview.
  • Identify fundamental interview questions.
  • Understand the importance of behavioral-based questioning.
  • Avoid common hiring mistakes.
  • Understand the legalities of hiring (if applicable).
4. Making the Hiring Decision
  • Execute a second interview.
  • Understand the use of employment assessments to aid in your hiring decision.
  • Conduct reference checks.
  • Evaluate candidates and make an offer.
5. Managing the Hiring Process
  • Identify cost per hire.
  • Write a personalized action plan.
  • Complete a performance plan to assist with professional growth and development.

Conflict Management

Strong leader’s in today’s fast-paced business world realize employees who are adept at managing conflict are crucial to success.

Managing Interpersonal Conflict

To stay competitive, high performance organizations realize they must effectively manage the interpersonal conflict that occurs among their employees. High Performance organizations are dedicated to developing employee skills needed to meet the challenges of the ever changing marketplace.

It is a strategic advantage to the organization for their employees to learn interpersonal conflict management skills.

Employees will develop a proactive approach during the course of this module by:
  • Understanding the elements of conflict
  • Recognizing conflict management styles
  • Tips for handling conflict
  • Enhancing your interpersonal conflict management skills
Managing Organizational Conflict

To increase high performance, managers must lay the foundation for dealing with, and working through conflict. Managers need to have the essential knowledge about causes of conflict, types of difficult people, and strategies for preventing and managing conflict with them.

This module will motivate managers to set goals and define actions for developing and enhancing their current conflict management abilities. It will set the groundwork for participants to acknowledge the impact that conflict can have on their job performance and the positive effect that learning to manage organizational conflict can have on an organizations bottom line.

During the stages of this module, managers will develop the ability to:
  • Identify causes of organizational conflict
  • Identify difficult people
  • Take ownership of conflict management
  • Enhance your conflict management skills